Upper Darby High School

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Upper Darby High School
601 North Lansdowne Avenue, Upper Darby Township, Pennsylvania, United States
Type Public high school
Motto Where Every One Is Royalty
Established 1895
Principal Edward Roth
Faculty 265.85 (2010), 235.0 (on FTE basis)[1]
Enrollment 3,762 pupils (2010), 3,893 (as of 2005–06)[1]
 • Grade 9 1,028
 • Grade 10 909
 • Grade 11 924
 • Grade 12 873
Student to teacher ratio 17.0[1]
Color(s) Purple & Gold          
Nickname Royals
Information 610-622-7000

Upper Darby High School (UDHS) is a four-year public high school located in Upper Darby Township, Pennsylvania, United States, as part of the Upper Darby School District. UDHS is also the oldest high school in Delaware County, PA, having been established in 1895. It is in Drexel Hill, part of Upper Darby Township.[2]

As of the 2010–11 school year, the school had an enrollment of 3,762 students and 256.85 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student-teacher ratio of 17.0.[1][3] [4] The population is diverse, with over 55 nationalities of students. It has a long-established football rivalry with Monsignor Bonner High School, located less than a block away. UDHS was part of the inspiration for Upper Darby alumna Tina Fey's movie comedy Mean Girls. The mascot of Upper Darby High is the Royal, which is portrayed as a male lion. In previous years, it was a court jester. The school emblem is the royal oak tree, the yearbook is named the Oak, and the newspaper is called the Acorn.

According to a report by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 4 teachers were rated "Non‐Highly Qualified" under No Child Left Behind.[5] Upper Darby Senior High School is one of the largest high schools in Pennsylvania by enrollment. The High School is also home to the Upper Darby Performing Arts Center, and the Summer Stage program.

Adequate Yearly Progress history[edit]

In 2011, Upper Darby Senior High School declined to Corrective Action II 5th Year AYP status due to chronic, low student achievement in reading and mathematics. The school met just one metric in 2011.[6] Under the federal No Child Left Behind Act, the school administration was required to notify parents of the school's poor achievement outcomes and to offer the parents the opportunity to transfer their child to a successful school within the District. Additionally, the school administration was required by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, to develop a School Improvement Plan to address the school's low student achievement. Under the Pennsylvania Accountability System, the school must pay for additional tutoring for struggling students.[7]

  • 2010 – Corrective Action II 4th Year
  • 2009 – Corrective Action II 3rd Year
  • 2008 – Corrective Action II 2nd Year
  • 2007 – Corrective Action II 1st Year
  • 2006 – School Improvement II
  • 2005 – School Improvement I – 2nd year
  • 2004 – School Improvement I
  • 2003 – Warning status

11th Grade Reading[edit]

PSSA Results
  • 2011 – 56% on grade level, (23% below basic). State – 69.1% of 11th graders are on grade level.[8]
  • 2010 – 53% (26% below basic). State – 66% [9]
  • 2009 – 53% (24.8% below basic). State – 65% [10]
  • 2008 – 51% (25% below basic). State – 65% [11]
  • 2007 – 57% (22% below basic). State – 65% [12]

11th Grade Math[edit]

PSSA Results
  • 2011 – 58% on grade level (26% below basic). In Pennsylvania, 60.3% of 11th graders are on grade level.[13]
  • 2010 – 54% (30% below basic). State – 59% [14]
  • 2009 – 50% (30% below basic). State – 56%.[15]
  • 2008 – 51% (30% below basic). State – 56% [16]
  • 2007 – 44% (33% below basic). State – 53% [17]

11th Grade Science[edit]

PSSA Results
  • 2011 – 20% on grade level (32% below basic). State – 40% of 11th graders were on grade level.[18]
  • 2010 – 20% (34% below basic). State – 39%
  • 2009 – 21% (34% below basic). State – 40% [19]
  • 2008 – 20% (32% below basic). State – 39% [20]

College remediation rate[edit]

According to a Pennsylvania Department of Education study released in January 2009, 59% of the Upper Darby Senior High School graduates required remediation in mathematics and or reading before they were prepared to take college level courses in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education or community colleges.[21] Less than 66% of Pennsylvania high school graduates, who enroll in a four-year college in Pennsylvania, will earn a bachelor's degree within six years. Among Pennsylvania high school graduates pursuing an associate degree, only one in three graduate in three years.[22] Per the Pennsylvania Department of Education, one in three recent high school graduates who attend Pennsylvania's public universities and community colleges takes at least one remedial course in math, reading or English.

Dual enrollment[edit]

Upper Darby Senior High School offers a dual enrollment program. This state program permits high school students to take courses, at local higher education institutions, to earn college credits. Students remain enrolled at their high school. The courses count towards high school graduation requirements and towards earning a college degree. The students continue to have full access to activities and programs at their high school. The college credits are offered at a deeply discounted rate. The state offered a small grant to assist students in costs for tuition, fees and books.[23] Under the Pennsylvania Transfer and Articulation Agreement, many Pennsylvania colleges and universities accept these credits for students who transfer to their institutions.[24]

For the 2009–10 funding year, the school district received a state grant of $5,023 for the program.[25]

SAT scores[edit]

From January to June 2011, 581 Upper Darby School District students took the SAT exams. The district's Verbal Average Score was 440. The Math average score was 464. The Writing average score was 423.[26] Pennsylvania ranked 40th among states with SAT scores: Verbal – 493, Math – 501, Writing – 479.[27] In the United States, 1.65 million students took the exam in 2011. They averaged 497 (out of 800) verbal, 514 math and 489 in writing.[28]

Graduation rate[edit]

In 2011, Upper Darby High School's graduation rate was 92%.[29] In 2010, the Pennsylvania Department of Education issued a new, 4-year cohort graduation rate. Upper Darby Senior High School's rate was 80.99% for 2010.[30]

According to traditional graduation rate calculations

Graduation requirements[edit]

Upper Darby School Board has determined that a pupil must earn 135 credits to graduate, including: a required class every year in Mathematics, English, Social Studies, Science, Physical Education 2 years, 3 years foreign language, and electives. Core academic courses are worth 5 credits each and AP courses are worth 7.5 credits.[35]

By law, all Pennsylvania secondary school students must complete a project as a part of their eligibility to graduate from high school. The type of project, its rigor and its expectations are set by the individual school district.[36]

By Pennsylvania School Board regulations, for the graduating class of 2017, students must demonstrate successful completion of secondary level course work in Algebra I, Biology, English Composition, and Literature for which the Keystone Exams serve as the final course exams. Students’ Keystone Exam scores shall count for at least one-third of the final course grade.[37][38][39] In 2011, Pennsylvania high school students field tested the Algebra 1, Biology and English Lit exams. The statewide results were: Algebra 1 38% on grade level, Biology 35% on grade level and English Lit – 49% on grade level.[40] Individual student, school or district reports were not made public, although they were reported to district officials by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

Classrooms for the Future grant[edit]

The Classroom for the Future state program provided districts with hundreds of thousands of extra state funding to buy laptop computers for each core curriculum high school class (English, Science, History, Math) and paid for teacher training to optimize the computers use. The program was funded from 2006 to 2009. The Upper Darby School District applied receiving $469,223 in 2006–07. In 2007–08, the District received $838,700. Upper Darby School District received $200,597 in 2008–09 for a total funding of $1,508,520. This was the highest total funding awarded to a school district in Delaware County[41] The highest funding state wide was awarded to Philadelphia City School District in Philadelphia County – $9,409,073. In 2010, Classrooms for the Future funding was curtailed statewide due to a massive state financial crisis precipitated by a national economic recession.


Upper Darby High School is home to the Upper Darby Performing Arts Center, a nearly 1,800-seat theater that hosts not only school functions, but also between 200 and 400 events annually. During the summer, the arts center hosts the largest summer theater group in Delaware County: Summer Stage, with over 200 participants in multiple musicals. Harry Dietzler founded the Summer Stage program in 1976.


Upper Darby High School offers a wide variety of clubs, activities and an extensive and costly sports program. Eligibility for participation is determined by school board policy. The Board complies with the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) policy that students may practice and participate in competitions when failing up to 2 core curriculum courses.[42]

By Pennsylvania law, all K-12 students residing in the district, including those who attend a private nonpublic school, cyber charter school, charter school and those homeschooled, are eligible to participate in the extracurricular programs, including all athletics. They must meet the same eligibility rules as the students enrolled in the district's schools.[43]


Upper Darby sports teams compete in the Central League.

The District funds:

  • According to PIAA directory July 2012 [44]

Notable alumni[edit]

Upper Darby High School's Wall of Fame committee recognizes individuals who have become leaders in their industries.[45] Wall of Fame members are noted by WoF after their information.


  1. ^ a b c d Upper Darby High School, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed July 7, 2011.
  2. ^ "Drexel Hill CDP, Pennsylvania." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on February 15, 2010.
  3. ^ "Upper Darby High School, School Report Card 2004" (PDF). Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). Upper Darby School District. Retrieved October 17, 2007.  Archived December 31, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ "Upper Darby Senior High School". SchoolDataDirect. Council of Chief State School Officers, and Standard & Poor's. Retrieved October 17, 2007. 
  5. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education, Professional Qualifications of Teachers Upper Darby Senior High School, September 29, 2011
  6. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (September 29, 2011). "Upper Darby Senior High School AYP Overview". 
  7. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2012). "Pennsylvania Accountability System Frequently Asked Questions". 
  8. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (September 29, 2011). "2010–2011 PSSA and AYP Results". 
  9. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2010). "2009–2010 PSSA and AYP Results". 
  10. ^ The Times-Tribune (September 14, 2009). "Grading Our Schools database, 2009 PSSA results". 
  11. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (August 15, 2008). "2007–2008 PSSA and AYP Results". 
  12. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2007). "PSSA Math and Reading results". 
  13. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (September 29, 2011). "Upper Darby Senior High School Academic Achievement Report Card 2011" (PDF). 
  14. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education, Upper Darby Senior High School Academic Achievement Report Card 2010, October 20, 2010
  15. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education, Upper Darby Senior High School Academic Achievement Report Card 2009, September 14, 2009
  16. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education, Upper Darby Senior High School Academic Achievement Report Card 2008, August 15, 2008
  17. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education, Upper Darby Senior High School Academic Achievement Report Card, 2007
  18. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (September 29, 2011). "2010–2011 PSSA results in Science". 
  19. ^ The Times-Tribune (2009). "Grading Our Schools database, 2009 Science PSSA results". 
  20. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2008). "Report on PSSA Science results by school and grade 2008". 
  21. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (January 20, 2009). "Pennsylvania College Remediation Report,". 
  22. ^ National Center for Education Statistics, IPEDS Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, 2008
  23. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2010). "Dual Enrollment Guidelines". 
  24. ^ Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (March 2010). "Pennsylvania Transfer and Articulation Agreement". 
  25. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2009). "Dual Enrollment Grants 2009 10 Fall Grants by School District". 
  26. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2011). "Public School SAT Scores 2011". 
  27. ^ College Board (September 2011). "SAT Scores State By State – Pennsylvania". 
  28. ^ "While U.S. SAT scores dip across the board, N.J. test-takers hold steady". NJ.com. September 2011. 
  29. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (September 29, 2011). "Upper Darby School District AYP Data Table 2011". 
  30. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (March 15, 2011). "New 4-year Cohort Graduation Rate Calculation Now Being Implemented". 
  31. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (October 20, 2010). "Upper Darby High School Academic Achievement Report Card Data table 2010". 
  32. ^ The Times-Tribune (June 27, 2010). "PA School District Statistical Snapshot Database 2008–09". 
  33. ^ The Times-Tribune (June 25, 2009). "County School Districts Graduation Rates 2008". 
  34. ^ Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children (2008). "High School Graduation rate 2007" (PDF). 
  35. ^ Upper Darby High School Administration, Upper Darby High School Course Selection Guide, 2012
  36. ^ Pennsylvania State Board of Education. "Pennsylvania Code §4.24 (a) High school graduation requirements". 
  37. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2010). "Keystone Exam Overview" (PDF). 
  38. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (September 2011). "Pennsylvania Keystone Exams Overview". 
  39. ^ Pennsylvania State Board of Education (2010). "Rules and Regulation Title 22 PA School Code Chapter 4". 
  40. ^ Pennsylvania Department of Education (2011). "Keystone Exams". 
  41. ^ Pennsylvania Auditor General (December 22, 2008). "Classrooms for the Future grants audit" (PDF). 
  42. ^ Upper Darby School Board, Interscholastic Athletics Policy 123, August 10, 2010
  43. ^ Pennsylvania Office of the Governor Press Release, (November 10, 2005). "Home-Schooled, Charter School Children Can Participate in School District Extracurricular Activities". 
  44. ^ Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletics Association (2012). "PIAA School Directory". 
  45. ^ "Wall of Fame". Upper Darby High School. Archived from the original on October 9, 2007. Retrieved October 17, 2007. 
  46. ^ Jones, Kenneth. "Broadway Baritone Keith Andes, of Wildcat, Dead at 85", Playbill, November 28, 2005. Accessed November 24, 2007.
  47. ^ "Tina Fey Gets the Last Laugh", Fox News, April 25, 2004. Accessed November 28, 2007
  48. ^ "Scientific and Technical Awards of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences". Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. Retrieved August 30, 2008. 
  49. ^ Naila Francis. "On The Button", The Intelligencer, February 8, 2009. Accessed October 12, 2009.
  50. ^ "IN THE CORPS", Computer Graphics World, January 2008. Accessed October 12, 2009.
  51. ^ "Turning a hobby into a career", Post Magazine, January 2008. Accessed October 12, 2009.
  52. ^ "Bobby Lloyd". basketball-reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. 2010. Retrieved September 16, 2010. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°57′24″N 75°17′05″W / 39.9567°N 75.2846°W / 39.9567; -75.2846